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The Sword of Islam


By Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed

President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.

Louisville, KY

Pope Benedict XVI created uproar by quoting the words of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Apparently trying to prove the pope wrong, ignorant  Muslims responded by attacking churches, murdering a nun and condemning Benedict to death.

The Pope's imputing to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the teaching of spreading his faith by the sword is absurd and refuted even by scholars of his own faith, for example it is written by A.S Tritton in his book Islam, "The picture of the Muslim soldier advancing with a sword in one hand and the Koran in the other is quite false." And De Lacy O’ Leary in his book "Islam at the crossroads” states, "History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated."

To judge Islam, one has to judge it by its doctrine and history.


The fact is Prophet Muhammad never called for spreading Islam with the sword. The Quran states in Surah (chapter) al-Nahl, v. 134, "Invite to the path of thy Lord with wisdom and good advice, and argue with them kindly, for Thy Lord is well aware of those who go astray and He is aware of those who follow true guidance."

Indeed, the very next verse states that "if thou should punish (aggressors) punish only in proportion to the aggression inflicted upon you, but if ye be patient, it will be better for the patient."

The expansion of the Muslim Empire within 100 years after the Prophet's death has two reasons: the political ambitions of the Muslim Rulers and an invitation from the Christians who wanted to be liberated from the Byzantine rule by assisting the Muslims.

They gradually embraced Islam to the extent that they even changed their mother tongue to Arabic.


Which sword of Islam made Indonesia to become the largest Muslim country in terms of population size? Islam spread to many countries by Sufis, Indian and Arabian merchants and sailors who had exemplified to the natives the Islamic ideals of honesty, purity and faithfulness.


Muslims ruled Spain for 700 years, then why did they fail to convert the Christians into Islam by using the sword?  The Muslims ruled India for about 1000 years. Today India's population is 1.1 billion, and at least 80 per cent are Hindus. Why the Muslims failed to convert the Hindus into Islam by using the sword?


On the other hand, people believe that Christianity spread from Rome to European countries, North and South America by love. Really?  One can know the truth by reading the history books written by Christian Scholars.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks an estimated 20,000 Americans have embraced Islam. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and by 2025 it will be largest religion in the world, as one out of three will be a Muslim.


It was the Church that invented the Indulgences and Simony systems, it was the Catholic world that invented the Inquisitions, the pogroms, and all other abominations associated with its dark practices against critics and opponents, including Christians who didn't extend fealty to Rome.

And the Crusades? And the Holocaust? Must we re-open these dark chapters again? Do we have to remind his holiness that in the past century alone, over a hundred million Christians were killed by other Christians in numerous wars, including two world wars?


The war on Terrorism is a myth. The US administration has spent over 300 billion dollars on the war on Terrorism. It is worth every penny to invest money on the weapons of anti-terrorism. The weapons of anti-terrorism are freedom from occupation, freedom from dictatorships, elimination of corruption (6 of the top 10 most corrupt countries are Muslim countries), giving opportunities to the Muslim population in political activity, education (65 per cent are illiterate) and employment ( a staggering  40 to 60 % are unemployed in Muslim countries).



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